I grew up with flight simulators, primarily due to my father being both a proper propellerhead and a writer for a computing magazine — in other words, we got a lot of review copies of such games.
One thing that struck me about the genre was that it was rather rare to see games based around just flying; instead, prolific developers such as MicroProse tended to emphasise the military angle, simulating exciting aircraft such as the F-16 “Fighting Falcon”, the F-15 “Strike Eagle” and the somewhat-less-exciting-but-appeared-in-a-movie A-6 Intruder.
There was Microsoft Flight Simulator, of course — or subLOGIC’s Flight Simulator as it was known in the early days — but that was slow-paced, rather complicated and, according to my father “not a game”. Clearly there was room for something in between the two extremes.
Continue reading N64 Essentials: Pilotwings 64
Well, friends, it’s finally happening: as of the time of writing, you can no longer add credit to your Wii Shop Channel account, meaning that if you don’t already have some on there, you can’t buy anything.
With this in mind, I loaded up on points the day before the payment processing facility was shut down for good and downloaded a number of Wii-exclusive digital-only games that, come 2019, will no longer be available to buy at all.
One of those games was Konami’s Castlevania: The Adventure – ReBirth, a remake of Game Boy title Castlevania: The Adventure. So, was it worth the last-minute scramble for 1,000 Wii Points?
Continue reading Wii Essentials: Castlevania: The Adventure – ReBirth
It’s quite peculiar, when you think about it — an awful lot of what are now regarded as Nintendo’s best games initially appeared on what turned out to be one of its most commercially underperforming systems: the dear old Wii U.
Given that games like Mario Kart 8 were universally well-received on the Wii U, it’s not altogether surprising that Nintendo would want to take the time to port them to a platform like the Switch, which has already absolutely crushed its predecessor in terms of sales.
And while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe isn’t a radical reinvention of its source material, it provides enough improvements over the original experience to make it a worthwhile purchase. Not to mention the prospect of having rather more people to play against!
Continue reading Switch Essentials: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s main cast runs the gamut from spunky, optimistic youths to a few rather more reserved characters.
Mòrag and her Blade Brighid (Meleph and Kagutsuchi in the Japanese original) fall into this latter category, both offering their own distinctive take on being the “detached voice of reason” in most situations.
Both of them are interesting characters in their own right, so let’s take a closer look at both today.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Mòrag and Brighid
Want my money? Release a game in a niche genre like puzzler or shoot ’em up at retail rather than digital-only. Increase your chances further by making my first ever waifu one of its mascots.
That was seriously all it took to get me interested in Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase, a puzzle game from City Connection and Dispatch Games for Nintendo Switch. So it’s kind of fortunate that the game actually turned out to be highly enjoyable, too.
If your life has been sadly lacking in fruit-popping fairies lately, then this is one you’ll want to add to your library.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Soldam
While the Xeno series has, from its outset, always been about imaginative takes on worldbuilding, the Xenoblade subseries in particular has placed a strong emphasis on this.
Indeed, as we’ve already explored, the very reason the first Xenoblade Chronicles exists at all is because series creator Tetsuya Takahashi thought it would be cool to have a game set atop the bodies of two gigantic, frozen gods. The concept was subsequently fleshed out into the divide between the Bionis and the Mechonis, and the rest is history.
Xenoblade Chronicles X subsequently provided a somewhat different take on worldbuilding, providing us with a huge, seamless and geographically diverse planet to explore at our own pace. But Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is closer in concept to the first in the series, albeit with a few twists of its own.
Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: A Titanic World
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a game practically overflowing with top-tier waifus, so it’s almost impossible to know where to start celebrating them.
While it might seem obvious to immediately focus on leading ladies Pyra and Mythra (aka Homura and Hikari in the Japanese version) these characters are, in many ways, “the face of Xenoblade Chronicles 2” and as such are already pretty well-known.
So, just to be a bit different — and much to the delight of many of my Twitter followers, if my call for requests earlier is anything to go by — I thought we’d instead look at the other woman in protagonist Rex’s life: the cat-like Gormotti, Nia.
Note that there are some Xenoblade Chronicles 2 spoilers ahead! You have been warned.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nia